Trust and distrust in society and public perception of CSR: A cross-cultural study

Hyejoon Rim, Chuqing Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to investigate cross-cultural perspectives of corporate social responsibility (CSR) based on Carroll's (1979, 1991) hierarchical CSR model. The present study examines the role of government and business trust in shaping publics' expectations of business responsibility. Design/methodology/approach - The primary data were derived from a cross-sectional survey in the USA, UAE and South Korea (N = 1,121). This paper compares publics' prioritizations of business responsibilities across countries and examines how public trust in the government and business is related to CSR perceptions. Findings - The paper presents evidence that publics' perception of CSR differs significantly across the countries. Moreover, in a trusting society like the UAE, publics tend to put more emphasis on economic and philanthropic duties for business, whereas in a distrusting society like South Korea, publics consider legal and ethical responsibility to be important. Originality/value - This study adds to the current understanding of diverse publics' perception of CSR across culture and societies by highlighting the role of public trust in government in defining CSR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Business trust
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Cross-cultural
  • Government trust


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